"The dragonfly is symbol of renewal, positive force and the power of life in general; also a symbol of the sense of self that comes with maturity, a creature of the wind, it represents change. And as a dragonfly lives a short life, it knows it must live its life to the fullest"
Initially my blog was about my kayaking adventures - but I have decided to include other events, photos, and day to day activities and thoughts at times. A "Bunch" of stuff. Glad you're here. Your comments are welcome.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sites at Lake Mayo

Can't wait to go camping, fishing, kayaking.

This is a photo from the Lake Mayo Park website of one of the cabins that Renee' and I will be staying in when we go camping.

An observation deck from their website - you view wildlife - now that I know which end of the lens to view through in my binoculars!!!!

One of the trails at Lake Mayo Park.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day

My Daddy's life has been an upstanding example for all of us. We all look to him for advice in life. I have never met anyone who doesn't think he is THE BEST. I could go on and on about him.

As the shirt says "World's Greatest Grandpa" (AND Dad)

Grandaddy with Marilyn and Sharon.

Grandaddy with my daughter, Renee'

Grandaddy with two of my grandchildren, Kearstin and Doug.

Grandaddy with two of my grandchildren, Jessica and Doug

My brother, Steve, explaining how this 'new technology' digital camera works. I remember when the Polaroid was new. Dad is probably thinking - my they've come a long way since my 1949 Ford, oh yeah and pencil and paper - right Dad? (Not that you're getting old or anything!)

Grandaddy holding the newest member of our family, Jeff and Ginny's son, William

Jeff asking Grandaddy for some advice.

This is a portrait of my entire family: my parents, my children and my grandchildren - four generations!

WE ALL LOVE YOU DADDY! Happy Father's Day!

A Mayo Morning

Welcome to my Mayo Day - First time here. My brother Steve comes here quite often, so he wanted to introduce me to the lake.
It was more than I could have imagined.

A cove at Mayo.
I went to Steve's, loaded my K and gear into his car, because his K has to be on rack on his car. First we surveyed the campgrounds - perfect, is all I can say! I had a desire to live near the mountains all my life, but I think I have found a place that satisfies that wish.

Arrived at the lake about 9:15 and were on the water by 10:00.

Steve is definitely in his element!

About noon we took a break on the bank, there was a little tree to mark the spot - sort of like a place where you would tie up your horse. Anyway, we had a snacks, crackers, pretzels, cheese, pistachios, and best of all sweet tarts!

It was a great day.
I'm looking forward to some more adventures with my brother.

On our way back to the boat dock, this motor boat made some pretty bit waves. I'm glad Steve had told me about paddling "into" the waves or I may have been turned over.
On the way back home, we stopped and had a grilled chicken club with fries at Biscuitville. We were home by 3:00.
Humor for today: I bought a pair of binoculars from Cabelas last week, compact and waterproof, but the least expensive they had. Well, I unpacked them, took them outside, and nothing was magnified; in fact, things seemed smaller. I thought, oh well, you pay for what you get. I would have to return them. Today when I went to Steve's house to have coffee before we headed to the lake, I told him about my binoculars that didn't work. He simply said "You may be looking through the wrong side of the lens, Sis." So, I went to the car, got my binoculars and what do you know - things were magnified - DUH -- sometimes I feel just plain ignorant!
I think they call this "Live and Learn"

Meet My Pets

This is "Lucky" - He is a two-year-old box turtle. When I got him he was the size of a quarter. He has grown quite a bit. He enjoys swimming in his glass pond, eating mainly worms and tomatoes.

This is "Sadie Girl", my Australian Shep. She is about two years old. She guards our property from squirrels. I would like to try teaching her to go with me on the kayak sometime in the future if I get a kayak that will hold her. She will definitely be with us when we go camping.

This is "Poohdinkle Sunshine" , my little Yorkie-Mix, about 4 years old. She is a little sweetheart too. Even though she is small, she rules the house, or rather Sadie Girl lets her have her way. I might try taking her kayaking with me soon, she would fit nicely in my inflatable, I believe, and probably wouldn't be as likely to turn me over as Sadie might.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Catch Up

June 18, 2010 Thought I would catch up on my kayaking adventure since my last posting.

Wed 6/9/10: My brother and I had taken my son and his family to the airport around 4 a.m. Since I had the day off from work, I gathered my gear to prepare for a day on the water and maybe a little fishing. At Crabtree Lake you can't keep the fish you catch, so I drove to Beaver Dam to check it out. It is about the same distance from my house. On the way I stopped by the bait shop and bought some fishing worms and asked the cashier directions to Beaver Dam.
Pretty soon I had my kayak inflated, my tiny fishing pole, bag of necessities, and all ready to take to the water. A woman drove up on a motorcycle, she was interested in kayaks and asked me some questions about mine. I also learned from her that I was not at Beaver Dam. So, I deflated my K and put everything back in the car. I drove to the correct place, looked around checking out everything.
The wind was picking up, the sky had some dark clouds and, since I had gotten up so early in the morning, I was feeling less energetic and decided to go back home. At least I had an idea of what Beaver Dam is like. At home, I added the fishing worms to my "worm farm" which serves as the grocery store for my pet box turtle "Lucky" who is about 2 years old now.

Sat. 6/12/10: Got to Crabtree Lake about 8;15 a.m., and was on the water by 8:30. Paddled around the left side of the lake and back. Very hot day, about 95 degrees. I came back to shore for a break a couple of times, but spent the majority of my time on the lake, listening to my audiobooks. I also talked with quite a few people who came to the lake to kayak. It was very relaxing, I just paddled gently, no hurry.

Thurs. 6/17/10: Left work and was on the lake by 3:15. There was a mild breeze, good floating. Dragonflies were everywhere. Two cranes flew overhead. When I was taking a break, I looked over to my left and there was a pintail duck pruning or bathing at the edge of the water. I watched the duck and was sorry that I didn't have my camera. The duck began swimming towards me; I thought, I must really be in tune with nature - then I realized the duck must really be in tune with people who are eating - I was munching on a cracker and peanut butter. The duck almost came up to me, but stayed at the edge of the water. Since I have two dogs at home that sit, stare, and wait for the tidbits, I could tell the duck was doing the same. So, I broke off a piece of my last cracker and tossed it to the water. Sure enough, he gobbled it right up. Then I gave him the last bite. I guess I'll have to add more crackers to my list of supplies to take with me. I went back out on my K for a while and called it day.
Kayaking and being with nature is a wonderful way to relax, just get away. Some people jog, walk, exercise, do yoga, Pilates, go to church, join social groups - I'll just take nature - it's my relaxation and my meditation! Of course, I also really enjoy sitting on my back deck, having a cup of coffee and a cigarette - and this time of year, my Cotton Trees are blooming beatifully!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dragonfly symbol

My Kayak will be called "Bunch's Dragonfly"

The main symbolisms of the dragonfly are renewal, positive force and the power of life in general. Dragonflies can also be a symbol of the sense of self that comes with maturity. Also, as a creature of the wind, the dragonfly frequently represents change. And as a dragonfly lives a short life, it knows it must live its life to the fullest with the short time it has – which is a lesson for all of us.

My dragonfly etched copper bracelet.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Calm and peaceful

June 7, 2010 - What a way to spend an afternoon! Sharon and Jessica (my daughter and granddaughter) met me at Crabtree Lake for an afternoon of kayaking. The water was very calm. There were very few people there. A blue heron kept us entertained all afternoon, most of the time in the tree, but once when I rounded the bend the heron was standing on the bank looking for his dinner - or maybe he was playing pee-pie with me! /Bunch

Surprise after surprise!

June 6, 2010 - What a great day! I headed for Crabtree Lake with all my gear in tow. The wind was blowing a bit much, but in the cove of the lake, it wasn't too bad. I headed out to the main lake but the water was too choppy. It seemed like I was on the rolling waves of the ocean, although I've never been on the ocean. After a short break out of the water, I took a little break and then decided to just paddle and float in the cove area. After about an hour, I took my kayak out of the water and was considering going back home.

To my surprise, my daughter, Sharon, drove up! She had tried to call me and since I didn't answer my cell decided to come see if I was at the lake which is a short distance from her house. Since she had expressed an interest in trying kayaking, I told her to go back home and get her life vest and she could try my kayak. Also, I told her if she had any coffee, I sure would like a cup.

While Sharon was gone, I saw a car pull up and thought, oh no I hope they don't get Sharon's parking space. Then, to my next surprise, I saw that it was my brother, Steve! How wonderful. He brought his touring kayak. He took a look at my kayak and agreed with Sharon that it needed more air in it, so I added some with the inflater that plugs into the car cigarette lighter.

Sharon returned and to my third great surprise for the day, my granddaughter, Jessica, was with her. This was turning out to be a grand day. Jessica loves sports and can do anything, she is so talented and doesn't have any fear of learning new things. She had never been in a kayak before, but she can swim like a fish. I told her a few highlights of the things I had learned in my primer class and she was off. After a few strokes, she was a natural.

I drank the coffee Sharon had brought to me. For the next few hours, we all took turns taking the kayaks out, sharing the kayaks. Steve and Jessica, then Steve and Sharon, then Sharon and Jessica. I joined them a few times. Steve let me try his kayak, but I feel more relaxed in mine since it is wider. The water was really choppy. So, now I look forward to a day when the water is very calm.

Steve had to head back home, and it was lunch time. Sharon went to get our lunch. Jessica, Sharon and I sat on the bank and ate KFC, cream potatoes/gravy, mac/cheese. After we ate, Jessica took the kayak out for quite a while.

During our day, we saw a mallard duck, black duck, and great blue heron. It was wonderful day.


PS- As before, I had a dragonfly visit me while on the water. I need to decide what to name my kayak - maybe dragonfly, or Bunch's dragonfly, or Painted Turtle. Any suggestions?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My First Try

My kayak arrived

My Sadie Girl is checking it out.

I went out early this morning to Crabtree Lake in Cary.
My son went with me to help me learn how to inflate my kayak and to be with me while I tried it out. The kayak inflated really quickly (after we quit trying to inflate the drain holes!).
I let Jeff initiate it in the water, to make sure everything was in working order, after which he figured out we had put the seat in incorrectly. So, we fixed that.

Then it was my turn.
Jeff gave me a few safety pointers and I was off, starting my new wonderful experience.